Petrus Simeon Noyon (1761-1848) and Remelia Terpstra
(from the book “De geschiedenis van de familie Noyon, Utrecht – Sneek, 1668 – 1856″, written by Tjerk Frederik Noyon, chapter 13)
Eng. Mr. Petrus Simeon Noyon, born Sneek, 17 August 1761, Attorney 1790, town council 1815, solicitor from 1809 until 1823 in Sneek, receiver direct taxation since 1823, in and outgoing duties, died there 18 April 1848, marries (1st) Sneek 17 November 1782 Remelia Terpstra, bapt. Peins 7 March 1760, died in Leeuwarden 18 January 1814, daughter of Tarquinius and Aaltje van Buuren; marries (2nd) Menaldumadeel 17 November 1816 Trijntje Heslinga, born Deetgum 12 December 1790, died Sneek 22 October 1862, daughter of Sijbren and Trijntje Abes and widow of Jan Wijbes Bottinga.
From the first marriage:
- Aaltje Noyon, born Sneek 4 October 1783, died in Smilde 22 June 1853, marries Leeuwarden 21 August 1808 Johannes van der Veen, born Leeuwarden 25 June 1770, merchant, town council, board member and magistrate first canton in Leeuwarden, subdistrict judge in Oldeberkoop since 1833, died in Wolvega, h. Lindenoord, 1 August 1850, son of Martem and Elisabeth Stellingwerf(f) and widower of Tjebbigje Klaases Gorter.
- Geertruida Noyon, born in Sneek 16 February 1785, died there 2 June 1826, marries (1st) in Sneek 30 June 1808 Jacob Sibbles Bokma, born in Sneek 1 March 1786, merchant, died there 23 February 1813, son of Sibble Jacobs and Lemke Garlofs Wiersma; marries (2nd) in Sneek 24 November 1824 Gerhard Doris Simon, born in Veere 13 November 1791, director of direct taxes in Friesland, died in Haarlem, 23 May 1876, son of Mr. Martin and Amelia van der Zandt; he remarries in Sneek 25 March 1829 Margaret Feickens, widow of Jan Oenes Gorter.
- Tarquinia Noyon, born in Sneek 25 March 1787, died there 7 May 1816.
- Joseph follows VIIa.
- Tarquinius Johannes Terpstra, VIIb follows.
Of Petrus’s early years and education we do not know anything. It is probable that he acquired the knowledge of Latin in the local Latin School deducting from his further career. This school, however, led in those years a languishing existence, “because the Bourgeoisie of this City trained their kids mostly into the Commerce”. The school prepared their pupils in principle to further their study at the “Academy”, which meant the Friesland College in Franeker. Petrus, however never registered there.
We learn from the registers that Petrus Simeon moved already at the age of 19, in 1780, from the family home on the Grootzand to stay on the Kleinzand and that the chimneys of the company on the Singel were transferred to him. He also, was destined to commerce by his father, who had promoted in the mean time to become a magistrate. On the 7th of November 1782 – he is over 21 years old – will follow his marriage (with dispensation of the Magistrate) with the one year older heiress Remelia Terpstra from nearby Peins.
Petrus, the last to maintain the notes in the family Bible, states that the marriage was blessed “by our uncle S. Gardingius, Preacher in Wolsum, however in Sneek “.
Remelia was the daughter of Aaltje van Buren, whose parents I have not been able to trace and Tarquinius Terpstra, lawyer at the Court of Friesland. The father died already in 1761, when Remelia is only one year old, and also the mother must have passed away in her childhood, because at her wedding she needed the permission of her guardians, as testimonies the printed wedding announcement sent from Peins.
Apparently the bride was very well to do, because when the couple settles back in Sneek, this time on the Koorn-market, is Petrus (on behalf of his wife) charged for 22,200 guilders in the Personal Goods Tax. His father is in the same register for only 3,200 guilders!
I have not been able to trace which were the possessions of Remelia. It would have also contained land in the neighbourhood of Harlingen, where her family came from, as the hand written note on the back of the “alliance” coat of arms Noyon-Terpstra mentions that it hung above the bank pertaining to the seat of the family Noyon in the church of Tjumarum. At Petrus’s death in 1848, however, in his “statement of succession” there is no more any trace of this land.
13.2 Portraits and other objects
Thanks to the collection of the Van der Veen, not only this alliance coat of arms, but also the portraits and some other curiosities of the couple have survived.
By the fact that the portrait of Petrus must be a copy of a now lost original, it is difficult to compare it with the portrait of Remelia and those of the parents. The texture is to smooth and face possible flattered. It is anyhow well painted and gives the viewer the impression of a handsome wealthy young man who consciously occupies his rightful place in society. He looks older than the 21 years he would have been if he had been portrayed shortly before his marriage. Also Remelia, dressed in German hat, blue silk dress and lace fiche shows older than her marriage age and seems already a posed housewife with children. Still, the feeling remains that the two portraits are not painted by the same hand and therefore not at similar times. The style of Petrus’s portrait resembles that of his parents, the painter’s style of the portrait of Remelia does not.
From Argentina come also two fine copper fitted carved wooden pipe cases, in which the smoker, who wanted to have his smoking paraphernalia in his pocket, could store a short Gouda clay pipe. Since both bear the engraved year 1782, they are probably Remelia’s wedding gift to her husband. I was told that it has long been the custom in Friesland that the bride offers to her groom a “lange gouwenaar” (long Gouda clay pipe) as a gift. This more expensive gift will have been a variation of this.
And finally in the collection from Argentina there was a book with l20-pages bound “optics prints”. Also a belonging special device, a large magnifier with mirror on a stand, which served to call forth the intended depth in each print, was still present. The plates are hand coloured and contain, besides the caption at the top, an inscription in mirror writing, in case one is viewed using that device. For the most part they were printed in Augsburg, but also in Paris and London, and were apparently for sale at the end of the 18th century in the local bookshops. The topics range from the misadventures of the prodigal son, of the Seven Wonders of the World, to views of palaces and cities in Europe and beyond: Boston and Constantinople are not lacking here. So it is instructive entertainment for young and old in the idle hours. A comparison with the modern television is imperative. Whether the collection had been made by Petrus or by the family Van der Veen cannot be ascertained however. The Memory Booklet from Petrus will hereafter (Section 13.6) be fully discussed.
The marriage of Petrus and Remelia was, as we saw above, outright blessed with offspring. Within the first ten years three daughters and two sons saw life:
- Aaltje, named after her grandmother Terpstra
- Geertruida, named after her grandmother Noyon
- Tarquinia, named after her grandfather Terpstra
- Joseph, named after his grandfather Noyon
- Tarquinius Johannes, again named after his grandfather Terpstra
Here, for the first time the name Tarquinius, the Latin version of the Frisian Tjerk, makes its appearance in the Noyon family through the Terpstras. The names Petrus Simeon and Tarquinius Johannes will alternate many times in the next generations. The names Antony and Joseph disappear until in 1978 my grandson is named Anthoni, in honour of the re-found ancestor.
The family is expanding considerably. Aaltje will marry Van der Veen. Geertruida with Bokma, Joseph with Tetje van der Veen and Tarquinius Johannes, who will prove to be the future lineage holder, marries Baudina Stinstra. Tarquinia will die unmarried at the age of 29 in her parental home. Her father, who was then since two years widower, marks in the family Bible:
“May the 7th 1816, being on a Tuesday morning at 7 o’clock, my beloved daughter Tarquinia Noyon has deceased at the age of twenty-nine years 2 months and 18 days and has been interred at her wishes with her mother in the crypt in Blessum”.
In the obituary he adds: “to an atrophying sickness”.
The other sons and daughters, however, all made grandchildren, with whom Petrus, who would reach the venerable age of 86, always maintained close links. They will be discussed in the following chapters.
13.4 Petrus’s career
When in 1780 Petrus was only 19 years old he settles himself independently on the Kleinzand. He then may call himself already “Citizen Ensign”, which is as much as a second lieutenant in the Militia. The position his father occupied will not have been strange to this. Also with the birth of Aaltje in 1783, he is still called as such. As a member of the younger generation he is open to modern ideas because in February 1786, when the central government in Friesland takes repressive action against the turbulence of the previous year, he is charged by the Attorney General (AG) of the Court of Friesland with signing a rebellious writing. Unusual here is that in the indictment Petrus is called a “Distiller” a profession that we have never previously found in the family nor ever after. Probably it was therefore only a brief business interest.
What was the case? From the detailed conclusions of the AG, we find that in September 1785 for eight days “a certain Petition for signing has lain at the home of Hermanus van der Velde, Master painter in Sneek, in the room where Society is held”, so probably the place where the local innovators met.
This petition had given great offense because it was to adopt a draft concerning the election process of the members of the Town Council, which is entirely contrary to “the existing regulations of this Institution”. Especially the provision “that henceforth all citizens, of whatever State or Condition, without distinguishing Religion (only Jews were secluded) will have the right to vote for a Representative of the Bourgeoisie or member in the City Council” [was considered to] “attempt to over through Reign of Local Government” and to “reversal of existing Rules”. This was contrary to the States Resolutions of 1609, 1621, and 1652 who determined that those could only vote “whom is known to have adopted the true and sincere Reformed Religion, to assume it and to swear by it”.
Since “the accused as well as some other persons have signed this Petition”, this was a matter “of very evil result, as Example to others requesting an maximum penalty”. The AG, lets the Court to decide for the sentence.
Apparently the political situation changed again, because eight months later the accusation and conclusions are declared “not receivable” by the Court and Petrus does not have to pay court costs.
The amusing in all this is that the objected petition was addressed to the committee, which the city itself had appointed to design new government regulations and in which Petrus’s father Joseph was a member. The Petition maintains that the Nation, while the population has been free people, has never been so enlightened (sic!) like right now. With repeated bowing to the Noble and Honourable Men they appeal to the true patriotic regents, faithful and disinterested representatives of the People, to recover the “occulted” privileges of citizens in the election of their representatives.
The attached election plan includes, apart the revolutionary offending passage according to the AG (regardless of religion), a detailed proposal of how the election for a vacancy in the City Council per Espel (district) would need to be regulated.
This would end the cooptation therefore. That the petitioners were still not very democratic is evidenced by the fact that they also proposed that the voter should be at least twenty years old and should be citizen of the city, that he should be owner of fixed assets of 500 guilders in the city, and that the chosen should have at least 900 guilders. Furthermore, it was still necessary that the upcoming Town Councillor would have been properly baptized in the Reformed Religion, and that he is “known as a true Patriot or Lover and an advocate of the City and Fatherland”!
No more about the rebellious writings that brought Petrus on the edge of a conviction. That things in Sneek just followed its normal course proves the painting painted in 1786 by the town hall messenger, painter and innkeeper Hermanus van der Velde, representing a presentation of arms by the local Militia of Sneek. This Hermanus is none other than the one “in whose room was kept Society”! The relative inn, the White Eagle, is at the right side in the painting and the two spectators for the upstairs window are, we may assume, probably the artist and his wife.
The beautifully attired companies are neatly arranged with their captains, lieutenants, drummers and pipers and sergeants with a battle axe. On the left are the grenadiers, known for their high hat and half boots, centre foreground the “coronel” with his aide. The formation took place in front of the Magistrate, depicted right in the foreground by the civilian-clad figure. It is very tempting to see in this skimpy stature Petrus’s father, Joseph, because he was at that time the Magistrate charged with supervising the civic militia with whom the “company” used to drill together. A subversive element in the painting is the little dog that was the symbol of the patriotic movement. Thus, the forces of innovation continue to grow until they culminate in the revolution in 1796.
Meanwhile Petrus invests in home ownership:
- In 1784 he buys a house “behind the Kruizebroeders” (now Kruizebroedersstraat) plus ample storage and two bedrooms, all inhabited, for 2371 guilders 14 nickels,
- In 1788 he added for 1000 guilders the adjacent house through use of niaar-right (Former Friesian right, from the 17th to 19th century, whereby first the family of the seller and thereafter the neighbours had the right of first purchase on the house for sale or farm land).
- Also in 1788 he purchased a well in the Kleine Kerkstraat for 100 guilders, for his uncle Gardingigos the rector of Wolsum, who will hire it for one and half guilders a year. In 1815 his widow lives (probably here) in a house belonging to Petrus at No. 273, District 3.
- Also in 1788 he purchases a house with yard on the same street for 300 guilders,
- and finally in 1791 a house in an alley between Koemarkt and Zuidoud for 150 gold florins 21 nickels.
In 1790 Petrus makes the step to public office, as his grandfather Joseph had done a century earlier. Although there is no evidence of any formal training, he took the oath as a postulant on the 2nd of July.
After he took oath, only three more persons will take the oath, until the system with the Old Regime ended in 1796. In the same year 1790 he was appointed by the city authorities as Fiscal, a function that survives the revolution and that he will continue to practice until 1809, when he gets an honourable discharge. As Fiscal he acts in court cases on behalf of the Magistrate. In a study about a legacy question before the Court of Friesland in 1786, where he as Fiscal presents a certificate on behalf of the council of Sneek, he did not hesitate to sign with “P. Noyon, lawyer and notary”.
In these turbulent times, all the old standards became questionable. According to the candidate notary S. Merchant in his treatise “The Notary in Friesland before 1811? (Leeuwarden, 1883), in which Petrus is already mentioned in 1791 as a notary in Sneek, consisted the function of notaries offices at the end of the 18th century in Friesland “only in name and nothing more “. Already since a century lawyers, prosecutors, judges and village schoolmasters perform this function as such. The profession is therefore re-arranged on the 8th of November 1810 by Imperial decree (Napoleon). Already on the 8th of June 1796 the “Representatives of the People”, who had the power in Leeuwarden, passed a resolution in which was proclaimed that “to eliminate all so-called privileges and authorisations as contrary to the fundamental rights of equality and freedom”:
- that the title of Noble Mighty Men (for the Court of Friesland) was replaced by Citizen Councils of Justice,
- that for this post no longer a mastery or a Law degree was required,
- that prosecutors and postulants were henceforth responsible for the Court to practise (as a lawyer therefore),
- and that the capacity of notary Publicus would cease to exist, and that this profession would now be exercised by the lawyers and attorneys.
This shows how Petrus can get access to his later functions, solely by reason of him being an attorney. He sticks to his office however, since his legal education was surely insufficient to exercise the profession of advocacy.
The public functions succeed each other. In 1795 we encounter him first again in the register on a list entitled “Description of all carriages, horses and yachts for use of pleasure, in and around Sneek, starting in May 1795.” A newly introduced luxury tax therefore. Of the 34 taxed, there appear to be 17, including Petrus, to be in possession of a “covered wagon with two horses.” They must pay twelve guilders yearly. The rich Baptist merchant Wouters, with whose granddaughter Petrus’s grandson would marry later, had also a yacht, for which he had to pay four guilders yearly.
In 1797, after the revolution therefore, “the citizen P. Noyon” is co-director of the General City Works, which he will continue to perform until 1804.
In 1798, as the separation between Church and State is being implemented and the Reformed Church becomes financially and otherwise independent, a “Commission for observing the interests of Reformed People in Sneek” is formed, in which Petrus participates.
By his own hand written rules of house procedures can still be found in the archives of the Dutch Reformed Church in Sneek. The eighteen articles contain detailed provisions on the meetings (Tuesday evening from five to eight), the administrative functions (pastor Schotsman is president, Doctor (sic) P. Noyon Secretary and Elder Beck treasurer), the fines for absenteeism and tardiness, the obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the discussions, the agenda, the voting, etc …
The latter article provides that the members are entitled to complimentary fire, light, pipes and tobacco. The rest of the consumables are to be paid from the fines (carefully registered by the treasurer) or paid out of pocket!
I also found in Petrus’s handwriting an instruction dated 1825 for the two “Church Door Guards”. For a salary of five guilders per quarter they were to be present at every church service, “with a stick” to keep order each of them in their half of the church. They were to “prevent with zeal the bustle, noise and talks of children, by removing them in silence one from one another, without causing any noise themselves”.
They were to prevent the useless and sustained coming and going of the kids, and prevent opening the church doors widely and closing them with hard blows and assist in the money collection. Afterwards they had to ensure that no children are in the church without a valid reason until the sexton had locked the doors. There occur after all “wrong things” of which many complain, “the removal of staves, pillows, books, and even candles!” Children who are demolishing the church benches or other, or suspected thereof, had to be caught immediately to be frisked and their names reported to the bookkeeper. The church was apparently visited by numerous youths, who were less interested in the sermon than in causing mischief.
In 1812 Petrus was appointed receiver of direct taxes, while the “Liste des habitans de la Commune de Sneek qui ont droit d’être inscits sur le Registre de l’Arondissement” of Friesland, that was now degraded to a French department, mentions:
“10 juillet 1813 Noyon, Petrus, Notaire Imperial”.
With the restoration of Dutch independence after the departure of the French, he stayed on as a Notary. His archive, which covers the years 1809-1823, is preserved in the National Archives in Leeuwarden.
Although I have not thoroughly studied it, it struck me that Petrus had passed some acts for Mr Brenninkmeyer, a textile merchant from Westphaalen – ex peddler. Brenninkmeyer started in Sneek a shop which later would grow to the world group C & A.
In 1815 Petrus takes a short time place in the new Town Council.
13.5 The death of Remelia
Meanwhile, however, a tragedy in Petrus’s life had occurred: the loss of his wife Remelia.
The two eldest daughters, Aaltje and Gertrude had left the house, both married in 1808. Aaltje married a thirteen year older widower, the merchant Johannes van der Veen in Leeuwarden and her sister with the one year younger Jacob Bokma, merchant in Sneek. Both families were already born grandchildren. When the four-year-old Petrus, the only son of Aaltje and Johannes became ill, Remelia left to Leeuwarden to assist her daughter, but became ill herself and died. In her bible Aaltje notes:
“The 18th of January 1814 in the morning at 8 o’clock in Leeuwarden died in our house from scarlet fever, our dear Mother Remelia Terpstra at the age of 54 and is buried Blessum in our vault, so also my sister T. Noyon “.
Why Remelia is not buried in Sneek but buried in the crypt belonging to the country estate of Aaltjes father-in-law in Blessum, is not clear. The manor had been demolished and in the church the crypt was hidden by duckboards that covered the entire floor during my visit in 1982. As already stated, Tarquinia, who had died two years after her mother had expressed the desire to be buried next to her mother and is also buried there.
At the time of Remelia’s death, the 23-year-old Joseph lived in Sneek, but his younger brother Tarquinius Johannes, had left in 1813 for a medical study to Germany, and would return only after the death of his mother. On February 16, 1814 – he was then in Vienna – he writes to his father that he hopes for Mother’s rapid recovery. Only in his last quite laconic note of 20 March it show that the news of her death finally had reached him in Berlin.
Thus Petrus, when he was 55 years old and still in the middle of his active life, lost both his wife and his daughter living at home.
13.6 Second marriage to Trijntje Heslinga
On 17 November 1816 he remarried in Beetgum with the nine years younger widow Trijntje Heslinga for what will prove to be a long and happy union.
Had Petrus’s first marriage lasted 32 years, his second marriage would last another 31 years!
Until the end of his life, Petrus was the respected and beloved centrepiece of his vast progeny. Where they lived outside the city Sneek, a regular correspondence was maintained with them, in which also Trijntje participated. Her affectionate letters show, apart from caring for her aged – and in his last years disabled – husband, her warm affection for the numerous descendants of the patriarch.
We can assume that Petrus with advancing years took life more calmly. Of his two sons, the youngest established himself as a physician in Harlingen. Joseph, the eldest son, born in 1791, was faithful to the textile branch. His early death at the age of 37, prevents us from getting a clear view. His father mentions in his memorandum book in 1840 “the wind mill of J. Noyon and comp.“, which according to the statement of succession at Joseph’s death, stood at the Zuidend and was then “used” by his widow Tetje.
In 1833 Petrus Simeon sells the house with the peat barn and dyeing at the Grootzand (former Swaen) up to the Achterom for 4800 guilders to Tetje van der Veen, as mother and guardian of her children Alida, Petrus Simeon and Johannes Noyon (then ten, eight and six years old). Although remarried with the rector of the Latin school, Henry Amersfoordt, Tetje apparently continued the “Company” of her deceased husband.
In 1844 Petrus finally sells his last stake in the family textile business: for FL 2036.25 (plus FL 200, – for the “tools as otherwise used in the factory”), the dye house and Klanderij, founded in 1725 by Simeon, into the hands of an outsider, the Sneker merchant Pieter van de Feer. The old gentleman had on this occasion authorized his grandson Jacob Sibles Bokma, notary Akkrum, to represent him in the transaction. The seller stated that for “the aforementioned plots no written title of arrival or proof of ownership was available”. That they were available though, we know from the often-quoted letter from my great-grandfather, who at the time of the sale was established as a prosecutor in Sneek and he had seen them! Would they have appeared, it would show that it was only a lease with leasehold, and that never a transfer of ownership had occurred!
13.7 The Memory Booklet
It is now time to pay some attention to Petrus’s memorial booklet, a black leather-bound notebook, which was found in the Argentine Van der Veen archives. Its purpose is immediately clear to us all when we read the note which is fitted on the inside of the cover:
“The content of this Almanac was written by our Grandfather P. Noyon after H.E., as consequence of a stroke, was hampered in the speech by somewhat memory loss; the use of this booklet was to help him some therewith. H.E. deceased in Sneek the 18th April 1848
(signed) P. van der Veen
When exactly the booklet was written is mentioned nowhere, but according to some later additions made this must have been around 1840. This conclusion is confirmed if one considers the letter which Petrus wrote shortly after his 80th birthday (17 August 1841) to his grandchildren Boelens in Nijmegen and which shows that the old gentleman, unlike in the past, had difficulties to formulate words and sentence structures. We can therefore assume that the brain stroke that struck Petrus had taken place in 1840 and that shortly afterwards, with great willpower, systematically put on paper the items which occupied him daily.
Given his age and his disability his handwriting is still remarkably powerful.
The set contains 36 pages, plus five rear contents pages.
The first sixteen pages are devoted to the city Sneek: the streets of the city with the names of up to 370 people known to him, the composition of the Court (with grandson PS Noyon as “judge of instruction”, the urban governance , Regents of Jails (including Petrus himself), Church Guardians (ditto), pastors and clergy (two Reformed, a Baptist, a Roman Catholic and a Rabbi) and finally the fourteen windmills on the urban areas of Sneek, including “the windmill of J. Noyon and Comp “.
Petrus’s great interest in ecclesiastical matters is apparent from the following eight pages, where all the towns and villages of Friesland churches and pastors are named.
Thereafter follow three pages with the list of cities and “distinguished estates” of the Dutch Provinces.
The last seven pages are actually touching part of the booklet. Under the heading “the children of P. Noyon” he lists here by city by city his children and grandchildren with their spouses. Then followes, also by city, the names of friends and acquaintances, under the heading “From the Gentlemen in …”.
The last pages contain long lists of words, under the following headings:
- “Of various animals” (mostly birds: “stork, doves, nightingale, hens and cockerels”, [and ending with more edible things:] “A capon, a turkey, young doves, partridge, a teal, duck bird, a hare“)
- Of other cows, etc “(concerns the farm:” Taurus the Bull, a Calf, the Houseman’s Lands, the Girls and Young Servants, Sheep, Ram, etc. “)
- “From the food” he calls except oxen, veal, sheep, lamb and pork, so that all were eaten, even rye bread, while lacking wheat bread. As drinks “milk, cream, buttermilk, beer, brandy and wine.
- “Sea-fish” include among others oysters!
- “River fish” mentions salmon, pike, carp, perch and eel.
- “General Foods” contains a list of vegetables (crop load, peas, broad beans, snow peas, turnips, carrots, asparagus) and fruits (strawberries, cherries, Gooseberries, yellow cherries, pears, apples, grapes, peaches, apricots, nuts).
All in all it was quite a varied menu.
- “on the table” (Table cloth, napkin etc, to candle, candlestick).
- “‘of appliances” (in the bedroom) and “the house” (door, window, fireplace, peat, coal and ashes, wood smoke, the rod, a cover etc, and for completeness ended: the cook, the cooks maid and seamstress!).
On the last handwritten page Petrus calculated that on August 17, 1843 he was 82 years. Below follows an annual annotation until 86. Before his next birthday, he died.
13.9 The process of Remelia Bokma against Grandfather Petrus Simeon and Uncle Johannes van der Veen (1842)
On July 29, 1842 Petrus writes his own hand a new will, revoking all previous.
He appoints his children and grandchildren as heirs, except his granddaughter Remelia Bokma, to whom he bequests the size of a twelfth of his legacy (which she would have normally been entitled to) minus two hundred guilders. If she is not satisfied with this, then she is put in the legitimate position and the then released money is to be distributed to the other heirs.
To his beloved wife Trijntje Heslinga he leagues the right to buy back after evaluation his share in the “furniture and household effects, including its silverware and linens used in the household.” I assume that the couple was married in community of goods and thus only half of their assets inherited, as the following Memorandum of Succession suggests.
How then is the disinheritance of Remelia to be explained?
This is clearl after consultation of the documents in the court case, that Remelia made against her grandfather and her uncle Petrus Johannes van der Veen in 1842. What was the case?
When Father Jacob Sibles Bokma died in 1813, the 28-year-old widow Gertrude Noyon was left behind with her three children Lemke (4 years), Remelia (2 years) and Jacob (born posthumously).
Besides the mother as guardian, the family council appointed Johannes van der Veen, the husband of her sister Aaltje also as guardian. Mother Gertrude remarried in 1824 to the six years younger Gerhard Simon, but she died herself already in 1826. At that time, grandfather Petrus Simeon was appointed in her place as guardian for the three orphans who were 17, 15 and 13 years old. They were then – or three years later when stepfather Simon remarried – taken in the house of uncle and aunt Van der Veen in Wolvega, where Van der Veen was the sub-district judge.
Lemke married in 1838 with Reverend Boelens in Nijmegen and Remelia married in 1841 her cousin, the Lieutenant Jacob van der Schaaff, who lived in Amsterdam.
We do not know whether it was under the influence of her husband or because she had a difficult character, but shortly after her marriage she accused her grandfather Petrus and her uncle Johannes of maladministration of her heritage. Her mother would shortly after her husband’s entered into a partnership with her brother Joseph, and would have used the funds under its guardianship of the minor children.
This partnership would be dissolved in 1824 where the interests of the heirs Bokma was determined to be only twenty thousand guilders, while in reality they would have been infinitely more.
Uncle Van der Veen, whose daughter Tetje was now married with Joseph Noyon and grandfather Petrus, who after mother Gertrude’s death in 1828 was appointed as guardian, had neglected to look after the interests of the children Bokma.
Furthermore guardian Van der Veen would have used without permission funds for the education of the children and both defendants would have forced her to accept the sum of twenty thousand guilders shortly after her majority. She asks damages and demands proper accounts.
The court case, in which three lawyers were involved, lasted over a year, partly because Remelia asked her sister and brother to join her, which they refused. Eventually on 18 October 1845 came the judgment of the Court: Remelia’s claim was inadmissible and she was sentenced to the cost of the process.
Despite the acquittal, which must have given the old man satisfaction, this hostile act of one of his granddaughters gave him much grief, which he has expressed by his relatively mild disinheritance (in fact, she had to pay only 200 guilders from her twelfth part).
Although the family spoke of a “shameful process”, the contact with the Van der Schaaffs was not completely broken: in 1847 Reverend Boelens brings them another visit in Amsterdam.
Petrus’s continuing interest in what was around him is proven by the last entry in the Memory Booklet, which he had probably taken from the newspaper: 31 May / l June of 1844 there would be a total lunar eclipse, “which we will be able to see by a clear sky “, from 10 hours 35 ½ minutes to 12 hours 52 minutes. The 82 year old will have stayed up specially for this.
On April 18, 1848 Petrus drew his last breath in his house in the Marktstraat. He is 86 years old.
Trijntje Heslinga lives according to the census of 1849 in 887 Market Street with a maid of 48 and one of 20 years. She was the right old age of 91 and died there on 22 October 1862. With her dies the name Noyon in Sneek, because grandson Petrus Simeon had already moved to Amsterdam with his family a year earlier.
13.10 Memorandum of Succession
After his death, as usual, the Memorandum of Succession was drawn up. Executors are the grandsons Jacob Sibbles Bokma, notary in Akkrum and Petrus Simeon Noyon, deputy officer in the District Court in Sneek, wh0 together get FL 200, – for their involvement. The inheritance must be divided into:
- Aaltje van der Veen in Wolvega, the only surviving child of Petrus,
- The three children of the deceased Geertruida Bokma (Jacob the notary, Lemke Boelens and Remelia van der Schaaff)
- The three children of the deceased Joseph (Alida married with Berend Wouters, Petrus Simeon and Johannes)
- The five children of the deceased doctor Tarquinius Johannes (executor Mr. P.S Noyon, Aaltje married with van Beyma Thoe Kingma, Jacob, merchant in Harlingen and the two unmarried girls Remelia and Geertruida).
The Memorandum is silent on securities, receivables and cash. If “bulwarks” are only mentioned half the house on Market Street, District 8 No. 90, where Petrus died (was the other half of his wife Trijntje?), a house with backyard, District 3 No. 82, one twelfth of the Groendijkster Fenne under Sneek, three women seats in the Grote (Martini) church and four graves in the new cemetery.
How big the “pure inheritance” was, is not to be determined, but it had to be divided into many parts. Aaltje received a fourth and apparently then or later, the portraits and curiosities. The grandchildren had to be satisfied with one twelfth to a twentieth.